HUS 3605 Child Welfare and Family Services, SPRING 2018

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  • Session 6 Foster care
  • #47040


    Please post your comments on the following two videos by October 12, 2017.
    Thank you.
    Dr. Fernandes

    NPR podcast on Foster care:

    Ted Talk-A Child of the State


    cherlin montauban

    I can imagine how hard it was for Claudia Felder who as kind was adopted by a family that she thought was going to make her dream come true by helping living and enjoyed live like every children supposed to. Instead, that adoptive family transformed her life into a nightmare by abusing her physically to the point that she was removed and brought into the foster care system where she also experienced not only the physical abuse, but sexual abuse as well. Children deserve better than that, not going through what Claudia went through as a child. Having a child in a home where that child is constantly being abused, can lead the child to so serious problems such as trauma, the child can paralyzed or even died depending on the severity of the abuse. It very important for people to be aware of of any type of child abused and quickly report it.



    Claudia and Norman’s cases:

    It is sad Claudia’s story; thank God that it had a happy ending. Much sadder is to know what happens to children who are removed from their homes to an unknown place, with people totally unknown to them, it is a terrifying scene. More frightening is having to go through all kinds of abuse like the physical and sexual that Claudia had to go through and after that being rejected by the only support a child could have, and being away from her sister with the only person who she feels connected to her roots. That situation can cause trauma in the life of any child; and makes that child grow up with bitterness, resentment, and distrust not only to the person who hurt her but also to everyone with whom she comes in contact. Children abused, and rejected as Claudia often create a barrier to protect themselves. Thanks to people like the social worker who knew how to break that barrier and help Claudia to trust and take out all that trauma she have had although sometimes she says that she remembers. I think that the social worker knew how to make a difference in Claudia’s life.

    In a brief introduction to how the process of its adoption happened, Norma says: “After having spent 18 years as a child of the state in the homes of foster families, the foster care system could say that I am an expert on the subject and being an expert I want to let you know that being an expert does not mean being right in the light of the truth”. And that’s a great truth because a child never understands why the neglect or abuse, and the rejection that happens to him as being only a child who has to live in a foster home, orphanage, or with adopted parents and all what he wants and deserve is to be loved, cared for and protected by the legal guardian.

    He also referred to many famous people who have come forward but who were raised in a foster home or were orphans, or adopted and now are afraid to talk about where they have come from, as if that would harm their lives. And as he says, each person has the right to remember their childhood where they come from with good memories.
    It is a pity what happened in the sixties even if a teenager had the support of her family but was a single mother was seen as a threat to society and was removed from her home and taken to a shelter for single mother and forced by the state through a social worker to give that child in adoption as was the case of Norman.

    Also the state of vulnerability in which that adolescent (his mother) was not taken into consideration and how after giving birth the social worker took away her son from her to give him in adoption; and his mother was sent back with her family and they told the neighbors that she came from a small vacation. Everything was a lie to pretend that everything was ok. to hide what had actually happened. It is chilling as how he compares the complete scenario like a business; the state as a farmer, the adoptive parents as the consumers, the mother as the land, the child as the product. The feelings are not taken into account. That is not God’s purpose when He constituted the family on earth; nowadays there are so many people without natural affection. Sadly the institutions of the state many times instead of helping they provoke without any bad intention that situation.

    It is terrible what happened to Norman as how after his adoptive parents had their own children removed him from their lives as a simple object they did not want anymore. It is sad as so many changes and foster homes took him to a state of rebellion and how he was deprived of his freedom for a year without anyone to worry about him. It is very sad for all what Norman had to pass as a child of the state, where the state is supposed to take care of his children to make them a better society. He was forgotten in the hands of people who only sought their personal satisfaction. Thanks God as Claudia, Norman knew how to hold on to hope and to the new opportunities that life gives. He knew how to love and forgive in such a way that he met with all his family.



    Claudia has been through a lot throughout her childhood. It is sad and depressing to see us human like Claudia go through such terrifying and heartbreaking way of living. I would say even animals get treated way better than Claudia. They had her going from house to house which is not good. Then throughout the five houses, she resides in. She was going through the same thing they removed her for when living with her biological parents. At the age, Claudia got put in a foster care. She was supposed to be at a steady home and feeling comfortable. this is a burden for both children. And now Claudia’s little sister got taken away from her, makes the situation, even more, harder for her to cope and function properly. Some foster kids are lucky and Claudia would be in that category because the social worker came through and help her break that fear and trauma Claudia had. That social worker did a pretty good job. we need more social workers like her. I think she really understands and connects with these people that are going through it. So she came to Claudia’s rescue.

    I like the fact that he named t.v shows that were in the foster care. Matilda is a perfect example. We can now have a better understanding and view of what living with a foster parent is like. Then, he falls into explaining spending 18 years in the homes of foster families. which then leads to him explaining living with foster families.


    Odalys Cortes

    Claudia childhood was sad, eventually she found a family that adopted her and was a happy ending. Most kids in the foster system act out because of their situation. Kids in the foster system don’t always get the happy ending as Claudia does, and most kids that grow up in the system and don’t get adopted the system throws them out in the real world when they grow out of the system. The reason to why most foster kids tend to go to jail and become homeless because of the lack of support they have. Every child wants to be loved and cared for, and some kids just want a home ,can fall into bad foster homes where they may get abuse. Just like Claudia experience in the foster system “I had about six foster homes, and all but one were physically and sexually abusive,” she says. “So I experienced it with my biological parents and then five other homes. It was like an ongoing thing.” Kids can mistake physical and sexual abuse as a form of love because as a child if they have bad biological parents and then get taken away put in the system and go into strangers home being remove time to time not having a stable environment they don’t know what love is. It was sad to read that Claudia and her sister were together growing up until the family didn’t want Claudia and keep her sister only making Claudia feel a sense of rejection. In the ted talk it talks about adoption, orphan and the foster system of how famous classic character movies show kids that are adopted and orphan yet e don’t talk about it. Fear to talk about the childhood past or come forward to talk about their memories of there childhood because how they may seen upon who the are as a person. In the past if a mother was a single mother it was seen at a threat and took the single mothers at their most vulnerable time of their life to pressure them to sign adoption papers. This is a such sad tragic to hear what happen during the 60s.



    A child of the state

    My thoughts after listening to Lemn Sissay story is disguste towards the government system and society.
    I think that for society to condemn women for being pregnant and single, yet not held men accountable as well is wrong.
    To know that women were sent away to get rid of their child and that there were such a place; that prayed on confused and frighten women is sticking. What Norman went though during his childhood was terrible. I believe that when foster parents take in children and than start a family of their own , some parents just disregard the child. In such cases, I feel as though they never really cared for the child.
    My final thoughts is that I believe that the foster care system is set up to fail children.
    It makes most of foster children lives worst.


    Egzona Dedushi

    After listening to both stories it makes me realize how little attention we pay to children that are in the foster care children. Ive heard stories about foster care but we don’t really hear the story coming from the children that were actually living through it. Lemn Sassys story is brutal, the parents that were fostering him made him believe that what is happening to him was his fault. to do that to a child is disgusting. he was taken away from his birth mother because it was an “embarrassment” to have a child as a single woman. it was not his choice, he was put in a family that he assumed cared for him just to be shunned away as soon as they had their own children. Claudia on the other hand came from an abusive family, she was taken away and put in with families that were no better than the one she came from. it makes me happy to hear that she ended up in a good loving family but i find myself asking if she would have stayed with her biological parents would she have been worse off than being put in home where she was beaten and raped. i understand that people can do the lowest things but i still can’t wrap how they can hurt a child emotionally and physically. why are bad people being allowed to foster children they couldn’t care less about. what are ways that the system can check the foster parents are at least willing to respect the fact that these children are human beings.



    What Claudia Felder had to go through in her life is unfortunately what many people had to go through as well. Claudia experienced so much change at such a young age. And as she says she still to this day has nightmares. Being moved around and having to stay with strangers can be a very traumatic experience. It made her have a lot of trust issues and abandonment issues. She also made me realize a lot of the things that we take for granted, meant a lot to someone who grew up in foster care. Little things like a sleepover was something she longed to experience. I am glad that she is in a better place now and with a family who cares for her. This is a great example of how where you are now is not where you will end up. Lemm Sissay talks about how many people who grew up in the foster care system are sometimes afraid of talking about being in the system like its something to be ashamed of and not a experience that can show how stronger they are. Much like Claudia, she is one of those strong people who went through so much at such a young age but is still surviving and trying to help others like her. It shows that you shouldn’t be ashamed of where you came from, instead you should be proud that against all odds you still survived.



    what happened to Claudia is terrible and unfortunate especially considering she was just a child. Unfortunately, what has happened to Claudia has happened to so many others . I think that the biggest problem with the foster care system, is that there are not enough employees to give their 101 time effort and attention to one individuals. Many times when a child has come from an abusive or toxic environment they begin to think that that is the norm as did Claudia. I think that is pretty cruel for people in general to just bring someone into their home at a very young age ; and then decide to kick them out because they they can no longer care for the child . Such parents do such things because they no longer want the child there. My final thoughts are that fortunate for Claudia, she had a happy ending. However, there are many in the system who unfortunately do not have a happy ending such as Norman. .. These stories was a bit hard to listen too, I’ve heard these stories a few times in my life and a lot of them have similar endings.


    Kharyn Benjamin

    After listening to both stories it reminds me how much we need to invest in the children. It is sad that children don’t see stability because they are jumping from home to home. It is sad that those same homes abuse those rights of the children. I feel the problem with the foster care system is that they don’t are understaff which creates an overwhelming work load for the workers to attend each foster child’s case. Not all children can find happiness in the end with foster parents; others has to deal with still being in the system. I work with Young Adults who only knew the foster care system and they will tell you they’ve been to many homes. Some of them were fortunate to be adopted however, it didn’t work out in the end. It is sad that this is occurring to children across the country and it is sad that each child goes through similar hardships regarding abuse, neglect, loneliness within foster families. This can negatively effect a child’s development. Although Claudia has been through traumatic experiences it is nice to hear she has found a family who truly cares and wants to see her succeed.



    Claudia’s story to me shows that foster care takes a toll on children’s mental health, how they trust and interact. Her story shows the importance of a kid having stability, place to call home and a family. The situation showed how social work needs just as much attention as parents with ACS cases. What I mean is they should be checked on in till safety seems certain. Many foster kids seem to need mental support maybe a possible solution can be group therapy for kids in the same area and age group, make sure they have counseling in school or a referral to a counselor they can see through out there time in the system. Reason being these are likely more steady then a traveling social worker or with social workers having a high turn over rate. The TED talk video shows shame that is brought to those that adoption. Rather then support and understanding. Plus how foster care may not give birth parents enough support.


    Ivory Chavis

    After listening to Claudia’s story and the TED Talk, it goes to without saying that we need to invest in children who are in foster care and give them the resources and support that they need. I do agree with the statement that it is impossible to address the foster care problem without tackling other issues such as drug abuse, domestic and sexual abuse, and poverty. In most cases, these issues come hand in hand. Children are placed into foster care because their guardians lack the resources and support that they need in order to take care of their child. The issues that are hindering the parents’ ability to take care of their child needs to be addressed and become part of solution and prevention process of keeping children out of foster care. Also, the foster care system itself needs to be fixed because there are children who are in similar situations to Claudia and this vulnerable population needs support.



    Listening to both stories you realize how children in the foster care system have to go through. It breaks my heart hearing these sad stories of these children. Hearing Claudia’s story and what she had to go through is sad because i know so many children in the system probability go through the same. So many children want a place to call home and do not get the chance to do so. Some children do find great foster homes and parents who take them in but others do not have the same luck. Sometimes we blame children for their actions but we do not realize that they go through a lot in foster care. Claudia was lucky enough at the end to find a home and a foster parent who cared about her and wanted to help her out. some children find good homes right away and others have to go through so much to get the right home. There are truly people out there who actually care about the children and helping them have a better life. Foster children want the same experience that children not in the system have and why not give it to them.
    I believe so much more can be done with the foster care system. We want the best for the children but there are things that need to be done for them to have the best. Foster care are here to help the children and find them good homes not to make children go through more than what they already had to go through.



    It’s heartbreaking reading claudia’s story and listening to Norman’s video. Although they both presented their stories from different perspectives, they both were failed by the system. The case of Norman happened some forty something years ago yet it is a recurring story. It begs the question, “is anyone listening?” I was left confused at times by Norman recounting his struggles and at times hurt. It’s good that he is able to look at his story from another angle and use it to educate others on the happenings in the foster care system.

    Claudia on the other hand was totally mistreated by the system but thank God for a kindhearted social worker, things turned around for her. It is not surprising that she now advocates for children in the foster care system. It is surprising that people to this day do not think about the effects the system has on these children. Why claim that it is to help them when in many instances they are failed? One child is one too many. I know that it is not possible to predict who will or will not be abused in foster care. The objective is to have measures in place that would severely punish the offenders. These children need to be monitored more closely and more workers need to be hired. Sensitivity training needs to be implemented and people need to be held accountable. It’s high time the system get to the realization that it’s about the children. Raising healthy, well rounded children who are the future is what matters.



    After reading about Claudia Felder’s life, I stated to imagine what other foster children have been going through. I can imagine how difficult that was. Most of this young lady’s life was spent in foster homes, during this time she was physically and sexually abused. Mentally, she felt she was alone because there was no one to hear her scream for help. Even though she was finally adopted at the age of six, a family she long waited for, it was difficult for her to adjust to her new home and so she got herself into trouble in school. It was very hard for her to cope and because she did not trust anyone and she feels that she has been abandoned she was not able to fit herself into the family setting so her parents wanted her out. I know that this must have been hard for her. I really don’t believe in foster homes, but because of all the abuses among our children the system has to create or provide a way to deal with such situation. I am happy that she was adopted by a caring person who sees her worth, someone who she could open up to and trust. Now that she is grown she is giving back time to assure other children who are in foster care that while there is a way, there is hope. On the other hand, the TED video only repeating what society is offering. why was this young man going through so many children’s home? why was he treated so unfairly? I am happy that he overcame it and was able to find his family even though it was in his adult life but he make use of the what he had, well spoken and articulate. Foster homes should be abolish, because too many children are been abused in so many different ways.

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